Mikel Arteta is said to have ‘fallen in love’ with his latest transfer target and has ‘not hesitated for a moment’ in asking Arsenal’s board to sign a player whom they turned down last summer.
Arsenal currently sit five points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League and Arteta is desperate not to fall short of the title for the second season running.
A report by Catalan outlet El Nacional has claimed that Arteta has been ‘very clear’ over where Arsenal need to strengthen to win the title, with the Gunners boss ‘convinced’ that his team is lacking a striker who guarantees more than 30 goals a season.
It is stated that Arsenal considered signing Openda last year but opted against the risk as they believed he wasn’t ready for Premier League football yet.
However, the 23-year-old’s form for Leipzig this season has convinced Arteta of his pedigree and Arsenal are now ready to make an offer worth €75m for the Belgian, who is thought to have a release clause in his contract with the German side.
Arsenal lacking a natural goalscorer despite potency
Only four teams have scored more than Arsenal in the Premier League this season but their top scorer is Bukayo Saka with six goals – a figure topped by 18 other players.
With Arsenal’s attackers also dealing with injury and fitness concerns throughout the season, the need for a striker has become more apparent, however the club’s concern over financial fair play limitations has prevented them from making signings this month.
Openda will likely be on Arsenal’s shortlist in the summer but the Gunners may have to move quickly, with the striker potentially on course to raise his profile while at the European Championships with Belgium.